Rainproofing your house: Can your roof go the distance?



    With the uncertainty of the weather and the other possible hazards posing as a threat to an individual’s safety, having a sturdy roof over one’s head is a necessity to make living comfortable and secure.

    But improper and irregular maintenance could cause fractures in the roof that could be the possible entrance for rainwater, insects or other natural elements.

    For 54-year-old Jie Atienza, a Registered Nutritionist Dietitian from Mindoro Oriental, maintenance checks in their home, or on their roof, are done thrice a year: when the year begins, and before and after the rainy season to ensure that there aren’t any leaks.

    “We call our carpenter to check the roof and he’ll suggest what needs to be done,” Jie said. “Most of the time, we’re just told to clean the rainwater drain.”

    According to Alex Padilla, the in-house carpenter from Greenville Development Corporation, early prevention from leaks can be done through a paint coating that adheres to most roof surfaces and strengthens their durability.

    “For prevention, use a roofguard. But for on the spot leaks, you need a sealant to stop it,” Padilla advises.

    Padilla adds that choosing materials wisely for the roof is crucial because it helps ease the maintenance process and lessens the possibility for damage that results in leaks.

    Above all else, durability and longevity of the material to withstand disasters both natural and incidental should be highly considered.

    One material mentioned by several online buying guides to roofing is slate—a fine-grained, foliated metamorphic rock widely used in roofing, flooring and flagging. It is estimated to last for at least a century and is resistant to moisture, insects, fire and inclement weather.

    However, slate is a demanding material, as it requires proper installation, care and maintenance. The trusses should be equal or more than the weight of the roofing to provide ample support. Moreover, extreme caution should be practiced when walking on slate because the material can only handle a certain weight without breaking or falling off. Once a crack appears, immediate replacement is required.

    In terms of roof type, Padilla suggests using the Tegula and Imbrex tiled roof pattern if it’s within the budget.

    The use of the Tegula and Imbrex pattern can be traced back to ancient Greek and Roman architecture. Its combination of both flats and curves create a rain channel for the roof and lessens the need for waterproofing or sealants.

    Apart from taking preventive measures, Benigno Sotero, a professional carpenter from Richville Resources Corporation, recommends frequent checks on the roof to ensure that dirt or other objects do not obstruct the flow of the drain spout.

    However, scheduling roof checks is also dependent on the surroundings of the home. Those with open space and far from trees or other greeneries are not required to constantly conduct roof checks.

    Meanwhile those who are surrounded by foliage need to have regular roof checks along with maintaining the quality of the material and inspecting the roof installation as well to prevent possible leaks.

    Aside from slate, the following materials may be used as alternatives: clay, metal, asphalt, wood shingles and wood shake shingles.

    When it comes to type of roofing, the following are the most commonly used: Gable roof (the pitched roof or peaked roof that is easily identified through its triangular shape); Jerkinhead roof (considered to be more stable as compared to that of the regular gable roof and provides more space than the regular gable roof); Butterfly roof (V-shaped roof with a construction of two tandem pieces that are angled on the outside part); Hip roof (contains slopes on all the four sides that make the structure more durable and sturdy especially against strong winds0; Flat roof (may appear to be completely flat but includes a small area that is pitched to allow drainage and water run-off. Such roofs are commonly used for commercial or industrial buildings).


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